Predicting future runway alignment earns patent for Mobile’s Lee
Importance of Correct Runway Coordinates “Pilots have compasses in their cockpits for orientation. In recent years, the number of runway incursions have increased, and these are often recorded as pilot error, when in many cases the error could be attributed to inaccurate agreements between a runway name and a magnetic compass heading,” Lee said. As runway sign markings are based on the magnetic compass direction of magnetic north, 360 represents north (runway 36), 90 represents east (runway 09), 180 represents south (runway 18) and 270 represents west (runway 27). These same identifiers are used throughout every major airport in the world. For parallel runways, letters R (right) L (left) and C (center) offer further identification.